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We all have stories in our head. Those stories can propel us forward and help us achieve our dreams and they can also do the opposite. Fortunately, we can change those self-limiting stories once we become aware of them.

There are plenty of people calling themselves coaches who consult, advise and try to solve the issues they believe their clients have. That’s not what the International Coach Federation (ICF) calls coaching.

Leadership CoachingThe ICF pure coaching model is about dropping in and listening.  The first skill an ICF coach needs to develop is to be 100 percent present and curious in order to hear what it is their clients really want in their lives. Coaches cannot do that if they’re doing all the talking. The ICF states that the client should talk 70-80 percent of the time during a coaching session, the coach only 20-30 percent. Pure coaching is about learning to listen in a way that allows clients to get deeply in touch with their:

  • Values
  • Deepest dreams
  • Passion
  • Any limiting stories they may have about themselves
  • Beliefs—whether cultural, parental or religious—about what’s possible and not           possible in their life

Just as we all do, coaches often make assumptions about the people they work with. Imagine having someone really listen to you instead of listening to a story in his/her head. Someone who listens so closely that they perceive any inconsistencies, enabling them to then question the story you are telling yourself. That level of absolute presence and deep listening, combined with powerful questions, allows you to explore what you really want, who you really want to be and what you want to contribute during your lifetime.

Once those three questions have been clarified, the coach partners with the client to design a pathway forward to make his/her true goals happen. Together they explore the skills and capabilities the client already has as well as those they may need to develop. They examine beliefs that will support the change, along with any that may not. They also identify the environment—and the people in that environment—that can help or support making the desired changes.

Each of us holds our own answers. We just need the right person to listen deeply, not only to our words, but to the silent subtext as well.

I’ve been in personal development field for 25 years for my own healing and my personal growth. The exquisite quality of the International Coach Federation (ICF) model, which for me represents pure coaching, doesn’t lie in the questions the coaches ask or their expertise for that matter. It lies in their ability to be present, to listen  and to allow their clients to get in touch with their own wise inner self and to let that be the compass that guides them.

These skills combined with a powerful coaching partnership that holds the client accountable for the results they want to achieve, supports clients in moving through any obstacles, releasing old limiting stories and beliefs, so they can begin to create a life that is in alignment with their values. A life they love to wake up to.

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